Methane Gas and Hearing Loss | The Wanderer Science

A new study shows that beneath the Antarctic ice sheet there are large amounts of organic matter that could be converted to methane by oxygen-deprived soil microbes. The scientists predict that over 21,000 billion metric tons of organic carbon resides below the ice sheet and that this is being metabolized into carbon dioxide and methane, two potent greenhouse gases. The research suggests that as the ice sheet melts, these gasses could be released into the atmosphere. The authors urge that more research be conducted into the Antarctic sedimentary basins.

As if you needed any more reason to become an otolaryngologist, a recent study finds that earphones are potentially as dangerous to your ears as Jet engines. Noises louder than 110 decibels can cause temporary deafness and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). However, researchers at the University of Leicester have observed cellular damage under these circumstances for the first time. They have found that exposure to sounds over 110 decibels strips nerve cells that send the sound signals to the brain of their coating, which can disrupt hearing. However, this coating can reform. Thus these effects can be temporary. This research gives doctors and scientists an understanding of how in certain cases hearing loss can be reversible, and this research could ultimately lead to new therapies in the treatment of hearing loss.

Related posts:

  • Do you have a link to the Leicester study?

    There has been a number of calls for manufacturers to reduce the output of their headphones, they are just too loud at the moment. Music always sounds better when it is loud so people are tempted to keep cranking up the volume – the manufacturers need to do something about this.

    What people don’t realize is just how loud their headphones are, particularly if they are listening to their music in an environment where there is a lot of background noise such as walking alongside a busy road. As you said, having an mp3 player at full blast is akin to standing next to and aircraft when it is taking off.

    Do you have a link to the Leicester study? It has always been said that nerve damage due to noise exposure is irreversible so this study would be pretty ground-breaking.


  • Sydney

    Here is a direct link to the paper published in PNAS, however the article is linked in the paragraph title as well for future reference!